Friday, August 11, 2017

Isla from a kid’s point of view.

Dancing, dancing, dancing - carefree and happy.   
To get a different perspective on life on the island, we decided to write about Isla from a kid’s point of view.  
We asked several of our friends if their youngsters would be willing to answer a few questions. Here are their responses.

Where were you born? 
Cancun and the USA were the most common answers.

Hanging out with friends

How long have you lived on Isla Mujeres?
My whole life, or in some cases the youngsters answered with the number of years. 

It sounds so very grown-up, but from their perspective, it is their whole life.

If you have lived in another country do you miss anything from that country? 

The mountains.  

Interesting enough none of the kids mentioned missing a particular food, which according to our grown-up friends is one of the biggest adjustments they had to make. We have friends who ‘mule’ down a variety of their favourite items every time they return from their country of origin. We, on the other hand, have adjusted to the food and flavours that are available here, with the exception of my favourite brand of hard, salty Dutch licorice. That I get ‘muled’ to us a couple of times a year. It’s a must-have.

Bike riding on the Malecon

Is living on Isla fun?
Everyone answered that one with a big YES!

Why wouldn’t it be?  There are parades and fireworks several times a year for Carnaval, Independence Day, and Revolution Day. Then there are traditional dance groups, musicians, and Carnaval dancers. 

Trick or treating for several days is common

A youngster can celebrate Christmas with their Canadian or American friends, and still convince mom and dad that they should receive presents on the Night of the Kings, January 6th.  Or they can trick-or-treat for Halloween, then continue through November 1st and 2nd, for the Day of the Dead. 

The tradition of trick-or-treating was brought to Mexico by visitors, and the local kids adapted just fine to the custom expanding it into a five or six-day binge of collecting candy and pocket change from tourists.

One of several basketball courts 
What is your favourite thing to do on Isla?
These answers ranged from playing video games, going out for dinner, hanging out at the beach, and enjoying the annual Carnaval dances and parades. 

Us too, except the video games. We’re terrible at those! With a choice of hundreds of restaurants ranging from high-end gourmet to economical home-style, it’s a great way to introduce youngsters to new foods and a new culture. 
Revolution Day parade on Isla Mujeres
Kids can also learn to play baseball, basketball or soccer. Then there is fishing either with a few friends or as a participant in the annual kid’s fishing tournament. Ride a bike. Learn to skateboard. Go swimming, or just chill at the beach. With the exception of a few storms that roll across the island the weather is normally warm, sunny and great for outdoor activities. No snowsuits required!
Playing in Centro

What languages do you speak?
Everyone answered English and Spanish. 

Other languages that we have heard local youngsters speak include Hebrew, French, Italian and a number of Spanish dialects from South American. How lucky for the kids to be fluent in a number of languages at such a young age.

Annual Fishing Tournament for the young islanders

Do you sometimes translate for your parents?  
Most said no, that their parents are bilingual, some said yes their parents are still learning Spanish or that they translated for grandparents. 

We need one of those! We still struggle to learn the language after nearly ten years of living on Isla. A fluency in other languages is so helpful when you travel to other countries. I struggled with five years of mandatory French when I was in school.  Lawrie chose Latin, which strangely enough has been very useful for deciphering written instructions or road signs in French, Spanish or Italian.
Summer fun all year around
Is your best friend the child of a foreigner?  Or a Mexican child? 
The majority of the responses were: I have many friends who are from the USA, Canada, Europe, and Mexico. What a great mix of experiences for island kids.

Where do you go to school?
Most of the youngsters attend school on the island whether it is private school or public school. One is being homeschooled by parents.

Do you like school?
Ha! The answers were pretty plain which ones were boys and which ones were girls. Boys-no! Girls-yes!

Any advice for parents who are thinking of moving with their children to Isla Mujeres? 

Parents, for the most part, answered that question:

Celebrating Independence Day in Centro
Living in Isla is great with kids, safe, and fun. Most of the things I thought I needed to raise a child it turned out I did not need at all. Learning to live simply is the best lesson of all!  

Rent a golf cart, get to know the island and get a house.

Learn the culture, learn the language, and get involved with the island.

Enjoy your week,

Lynda & Lawrie 

Treasure Isla

Have you got yours yet? $2.99 on amazon e-books
Treasure Isla is a humorous Caribbean adventure set on Isla Mujeres, a tiny island off the eastern coast of Mexico. Two twenty-something women find themselves in possession of a seemingly authentic treasure map, which leads them on a chaotic search for buried treasure while navigating the dangers of too much tequila, disreputable men, and a killer. And there is a dog, a lovable rescue-mutt. 

The cover of Treasure Isla has a new look courtesy of one of my favourite mystery writers Carmen Amato. She is the creator of the popular Emilia Cruz Detective series set in Acapulco. 

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